Headaches Associated With Ear Symptoms, Menstrual Cramps and “Brain Fog”

Constellation of Symptoms

Symptoms present themselves along with your headache that are difficult to shake. You may have dealt with these problems for so long you have simply accepted them. The following treatments offer some of you a way out. I present them to you with the understanding that the results are less certain than many of the other treatments in preceding blogs.

Ear Pain, Tinnitus, and “Stuffiness”

Usually, people with ear symptoms who arrive in the clinic have been beset with their ear issues for quite some time. Clients have frequently seen numerous providers without resolution. While I see frequent successes in alleviating the ear troubles, many times the ear treatments do not respond as readily as the actual headache.

The medial pterygoid muscle often projects symptoms to the ear. A small portion of the muscle can be pressed on the outside corner of your jaw. However, the bulk of the muscle is on the inside of the mouth and can be best reached there.

How do you reach this muscle? Find the muscle in the back portion of your mouth just further back from your lower row of teeth. It will be tender there, and the problem side tends to be more tender.

Rub this tender medial pterygoid muscle and you might just notice your ear symptoms lighten up. This medial pterygoid treatment is not my first go-to treatment. Why? For one thing, the treatment can be a little sloppy and awkward as you reach into your mouth. In addition, you may develop a gagging sensation if you go just a bit too far back.

To see if the treatment helps you, try this method. If you have a tender right medial pterygoid, reach it with your left thumb on the inside of your mouth. Another method is to use your same-sided right index finger. Granted, the treatment is awkward. However, if you suffer with persistent ear problems and this technique helps, the inconvenience can be well worth it. If you get no relief in 60 seconds or less, try something else.

The something else may be your lateral pterygoid muscle. Find this muscle in your upper row of teeth. Your thumb is usually too big to reach far enough into your mouth to reach the muscle. Use either your little finger or index finger on the same side as the trouble. This muscle may also add to your headache woes.

You just cannot get used to digging around inside your mouth to get at these troublemaking muscles? Try an alternative. The ice popsicle, a finger-size plastic tube works fantastically for some people. Put water in the tube, then throw it in the freezer and twenty minutes. Then use it inside your mouth to cool down the inflammation in your medial and lateral pterygoid muscles. As a result, you have less mess and less hassle.

Menstrual Cramp Misery

Natural treatments for menstrual cramps exist? Acupressure points?  Use acupressure points to relieve the cramps. Which ones?

Oddly enough, you may find the answer to your menstrual cramps in an unlikely spot in your foot. Acupressure points Stomach 43 and 44 are wedged in between the second and third bones of your foot. Press these points just at this junction of the second and third toe bones. Use the side of your finger if necessary to contact the point. Otherwise, your finger pad may cover the point without stimulating it.

You do not have to maintain an intense pressure. Be aware that the points will be quite tender, however. Apply pressure to your tolerance anywhere from 30-60 seconds and you may feel your menstrual cramp mysteriously melt away. Your headache may ebb and flow with the presence of your menstrual cramps. Relieve the menstrual cramps and your headache may fade as well.

Strange as it may seem, I have observed the phenomenon several times in the past month or so. I have used this point sporadically for people over the last quarter century as the need presented itself.

Many of the acupoints seem to be named after an organ in the body they have no obvious connection to. These points on the Stomach meridian are aptly named as they help abdominal complaints. Stomach 36 point in the shin, for instance, is an important point for indigestion.

“Brain Fog”

Some of my clients complain about a vague sense of head pressure or fogginess that goes along with their headaches. Several times in the last several months I have used a point in the foot to “lift the fog.” These clients reported that their head “clears” with pressure to the Gall Bladder 41 point.

Check out acupressure point Gall Bladder 41 in between toe 4 and 5, at the junction where they branch off. As with the other foot points mentioned above, you may need to turn your finger sideways to get the point.

This point relieves more general headaches and is one that may relieve pressure on both sides of the head. One client used this point to relieve her headaches that came on during stressful business meetings. She could stealthily press this point under the table without being observed. She told me her headache level would only rise to a 3/10 and fade in several hours rather than the 7-8/10 level that would last for a day or two without the Gall Bladder 41 point.

Ideas for Your Use

Your headache problem is unique. Ideas presented in these blogs will help some but not all people. Sore people are highly sensitive to acupressure points and get immediate relief. Other people have no benefit at all and pressure to these points simply bounce off with no effect.

The key is to determine which points benefit you. Use them as first aid and do not rely solely on the acupoints. You are best off to keep your muscles and fascia released so that the headaches do not arise in the first place. Learn how to shut them down quickly before they escalate. The longer you wait before treatment, the harder it is to rein in your headache. All the best to you in your efforts to manage these perplexing headache problems!


You understand that if not done properly, some techniques and exercises described in this blog could harm you. Any activities you perform are at your own risk, and you expressly agree to waive any claims against the author for any harm that may arise from your own actions. By reading this blog and conducting these exercises, you accept this risk. This blog provides content related to physical and/or mental health issues. As such, your use of techniques described acts as your acceptance of this disclaimer.

-Consult Chapter 2 in my book, “Calming the Headache Storm” to make sure the headache is not the sign of a more serious problem. The techniques, advice and strategies contained in this blog may not be suitable for every individual and should be abandoned if your headache increases. Seek the advice of your physician.


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